Weapons: Home Made Explosives in Iraq

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December 20, 2005: Terrorists in Iraq appear to be running short of pilfered (from Saddam's ammo dumps) artillery shells and explosives. Home made explosives are increasingly being used for roadside bombs. One of the more novel explosive concoctions is one using concentrated hydrogen peroxide and other materials. This is a known recipe for improvised explosives, although the Iraqis are adding cumin (something found in many kitchens, and grown in Iraq), instead of charcoal, to get the mixture into an explosive state. American Crime Scene Investigators were taken aback when they first found traces of cumin in bomb site debris. It took some additional investigating to reveal that this was the result of local bomb making practices, not a recipe gone really, really bad.

The resort to improvised explosives for their bombs means the bombs have less power, and cause fewer injuries. The explosives shortage is largely a result of two years of American and Iraqi troops tracking down Saddam's lost shells and explosives. In the past year, hundreds of terrorist weapons caches have been found and destroyed.

 


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